April 14, 2012
HOUSTON - Freshman Jaime Edwards hit a walk-off grand slam to lead Houston in a 6-2 win over East Carolina Saturday afternoon at Cougar Softball Stadium. It was the second grand slam of the season for the freshman as Houston (26-15, 11-3) claimed the second win of the day over ECU (16-25, 4-10) to move into a three-way tie for first place in Conference USA standings.
The Cougars pounded out 18 hits in the first game of the double header for a 13-5 five-inning win before finding themselves with only one hit and zero runs through the first three innings.
"It was good to see them remain focused and get that second win," head coach Kyla Holas said. "The momentum of riding one game so high and the other game not so high, that hasn't happened to us this year. We had to stay focused all seven innings because we were playing outside ourselves in the first game and more true to form in the second game."
Edwards came up to the plate with bases loaded after the Pirates pitched around Jennifer Klinkert to load the bases by walking the senior. During a coach's visit ECU's pitcher Sarah Christian, Edwards met with Holas.
"She walked over to me and asked `Do you mind if we change the game plan because I know what I'm going to get and I'm ready'" so, kudos to her," said Holas. "She came ready to hit and did a great job mentally."
Fellow freshman Summer Groholski earned the win as she came in relief during the fourth inning for Bailey Watts. Watts surrendered a two-run homer in the frame for ECU to take the 2-0 lead and allowed only two hits in 3.1 innings. Groholski improved to 5-4 on the year.
"Summer did a great job for us, I was pleased with her. She's been doing great at practice and we needed to see a game like that from her."
Senior Melissa Gregson hit a double in the fourth inning and would make Houston's first impact on the scoreboard as she was driven in by Klinkert's sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. Haley Outon followed Gregson's single with a single before coming around to score on Reina Gaber's two-out single.
Gaber went 2-for-3 on the afternoon and is batting .410 in the two-out situation and .500 with runners in scoring position.
Houston would threaten to break the game open but left the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Houston would strand three more in the next two before Edwards home run broke open the tie.
The Cougars and Pirates play the series finale tomorrow at noon.